School is back in our lives and we have mixed emotions.

Relief at closing down the childcare spreadsheet, trepidation at making lunches, ironing uniforms and getting our kids to the gate on time. Plus some of them are going for the very first time… (gulp!)

These ideas should help everyone cope…

Play “Beat the Buzzer!” The theory being your phone’s alarm replaces the sound of your voice. You set them a task to do before the buzzer goes, ie, get dressed, eat cereal, do up shoes, etc.

Make it exciting: Help them to make a certificate with the date they started their new class, then set them the task of decorating it, while you iron name labels into their jumpers have a cup of tea.

Talk about their day: When they get home, try asking these questions to get more out of them than a surly (apparently our kids are never to young for sass), “fine!”

What was the best thing that happened at school today?

Where is the coolest place in school?

How did you help somebody today?

Who did you see today?

Who would you most/least like to sit next to in class? And why!

Watch TV! So you get 5 mins to empty their lunch box, school bag full of leaves, etc, while some friendly peeps show your small person how cool school is. This CBeebies iPlayer playlist, featuring Topsy and Tim, Twirlywoos and School of Roars has been set up especially.

Add a school-themed book into their bedtime story list. We love I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child, Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh and Chu’s First Day at School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex.

Let us know how you and your small people are coping. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, @5minutefun.